Student-led Rally: A discussion of police brutality and life for Black students


Credit: Josephine Velo

Nadia Abbott takes the mic to wrap up the Black History Month rally. When asked if she had anything to say to students at Loy Norrix, she replied, “Stop hurting each other.”

Josephine Velo, Executive Director

In response to continuous police brutality, on Feb. 10, a student rally took place at Loy Norrix.
The rally was organized by Norrix senior Nadia Abbott and included multiple student speakers who showcased poetry, thoughts about police brutality and their experiences as Black students at Loy Norrix.
“You may try to make us criminals, shade our name, although in truth we are caring, humble, and our women are strong and beautiful,” said freshman Isaac Dyer.
Students stood in a wide circle as each speaker entered the center, and seniors Destiny Gutter and Percy Gordon followed Dyer.
Gutter expressed a call for unity and support among Black students.
“We are fighting for the same thing, we should be at peace together, we should be helping each other…How are we supposed to better ourselves when we aren’t bettering each other,” Gutter asked in her poem.
Gordon followed and spoke on police brutality specifically, expressing his daily fear of being killed as a Black man.
To wrap up the rally, Abbott spoke.
“I was seeing police brutality, I think there have been over 500 cases of police brutality alone in 2023. We shouldn’t get desensitized to it,” said Abbott.
The rally functioned as a place to hear from peers during Black History Month about their own experiences, in contrast to the historical features about famous individuals on the morning announcements, T.V. monitors, and posters throughout the school.
A demand for more celebration and action in school during Black History Month was echoed by many of the speakers.
“I haven’t seen enough. In fact, I want to see more events and more announcements. It’s not enough,” said Dyer.
Student-led events like the rally open up opportunities for students themselves to control the narrative and give a spotlight to topics that are important to the Norrix population, like police brutality.